Listening for the Alien Heartbeat

The morning I left Lake Sevan snow was forecast.  Looking across the lake, white liquid clouds rolled down the mountain tops in the morning light, and flowed into the far shores.  Above them, the unrelieved black of a coming storm:

Falling Clouds - morning view

My starting point was clear but wet, the road ahead looked uninviting, and I was clearly headed into storm:

Road Ahead to the Sevan Pass

Today the route was the old road over the Sevan Pass.

Walking highways is unrewarding, so to avoid this I took a taxi out of town to Semyonovka, a few kms before the start of the pass.  Semyonovka is an end-of-the-world type town, a last-chance saloon at the edge of civilization.  It looked like it had been at the end of the world for a very long time.

I stopped to check directions, though there was only one road.  The locals said I was crazy:  Wolves, serious wolves.  They made big munching motions around my head.  Burly men with an unexpected sense of humour.

It was now sleeting and there was ice on the road.  A cold white fog now settled.  Too wet and foggy for photos.

I wondered why I had never read of other travelers getting worried about road dangers:  Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet), Paddy Fermor (A Time of Gifts), or even Basho…  I guessed I had spent too long at desks.

I took the cover off my knife pouch, put the camera in my backpack so my hands were free and headed in.  Real unrelaxed.

It was a striking place:  cold, white, absolutely deserted.

(events 13 Nov 2012 am)


4 Responses to “Last Chance Saloon”

Wild Agreement, Disputations, Outright Laughter...

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